Alabama Teacher's Aide Requirements

Teacher aides in Alabama do not require certification, but some college education is necessary. The state also requires teacher aides to complete a background check. Read on for more info about the requirements to become a teacher aide in Alabama. Schools offering Teaching Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Info

Teacher aides, who may also be called teacher assistants, instructional aides, or paraprofessionals, assist certified teachers to provide additional support and instruction to students. In Alabama, teacher aides do not need to obtain certification, but they do need at least two years of college education to work in public schools. Teacher aides also need good communication skills and patience in order to effectively communicate with students, teachers, and parents.

Education/Experience Required Two years of college education
Exams Required State or local exam in lieu of college education
Advancement Opportunities Teacher in kindergarten or elementary, middle, or high school; special education teacher
Mean Salary (2018, Alabama) $21,190*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 8%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Duties

Teacher aides have several duties in the classroom. They may work one-on-one with students or help lead activities in small groups. They often work with students with additional learning needs. Some typical classroom duties of a teacher aide include reviewing lesson materials with students, teaching students good behavior, and helping the teacher prepare lessons. They may also be required to supervise students outside of lesson times, such as during breaks or field trips. Some teacher aides may work exclusively with special education students or in specific areas of a school, such as a computer laboratory.

Education and Training Requirements

In Alabama, teacher aides are not required to have a teaching certificate. However, some relevant education and training is still needed. Federal law requires teacher aides who work in Title I schools to have some college education, either in the form of a two-year degree or two years of college experience. Alternatively, they must achieve a passing score on a state or local assessment. Title I schools are schools that have a large number of students from low-income backgrounds.

Prospective teacher aides can complete an associate's degree program for teacher assistants, which will focus on helping participants understand the role of teacher aide and how to best prepare lessons and support students.

Background Check

In Alabama, anybody employed in a local school system or nonpublic school who might work unsupervised with children must be fingerprinted and complete an Alabama State Bureau of Investigation and FBI criminal history background check. This is done through the Alabama State Department of Education and the 3M Cogent Systems website.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects teacher assistant employment to grow by 8% from 2016 to 2026. This is an average pace of growth compared to other jobs. However, as teacher aides are considered a supplementary role rather than a primary role, there may be less job security for teacher aides during budget cuts. The availability of teacher aide jobs will depend on the needs and budget of each school district.

Advancement Opportunities

Many teacher aides progress to more advanced positions throughout their careers. With further education and/or training, a teacher aide can take steps to obtain a teaching certification or license. They can then pursue a teaching role in a kindergarten or an elementary, middle, or high school. As many teacher aides work with children with special educational needs, they may also wish to advance to the role of special education teacher.

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